Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valley Music Open Mic ..again

It is a way to broaden my horizons. Besides, Cliff and Kevin, the guitars and vocals of Copper Creek were going, so it seemed the thing to do. It may make us stronger as a group when we play together.

Cliff did his own thing, and Kevin did his. Then we all did a tune with Lauren. I'm glad to see everyone is leaning more toward doing original music. It is good when they do things on their own because I get a better sense of where their hearts are, plus I like seeing them play as a spectator sometimes.

Cliff was definitely on his game. He's a legend in some circles around here due his history as an early purveyor of live music. He played as well as ran a venue; a 60's coffee house type of place. I guess about the time when beatniks morphed into hippies.

I've heard some tapes of him in earlier days, and I have to say his voice improved with age. He's got a sound and quality now that is unique. It's the kind of voice you just enjoy hearing, and that has a sound you can't teach or imitate very well because it is its own sound. And the original song he played tonight is first rate.

I decided to try an experiment by doing a solo piece. The house bass and sort-of drums decided to back me. Big mistake. You learn as you go. I'd do that much differently. It was kind of a crowd pleaser but in reality it sucked. I'll do it agin as see if I can do it right. Broadening horizons and experimenting is the name of the game.

Even so, a couple of people asked if I would play with them when it was their turn to play. They were playing songs I'd never heard, and the progressions were nothing typical at all. I faked it OK and everyone was happy. It is strange how some guitar players will call something a typical blues progression which strikes me as hardly blues at all. But those guys consider players like Stevie Ray Vaughn or Led Zeppelin to be old school blues. Maybe you either have the blues running in your veins or ou don't.

Not saying I do, but enough is there that I know what is complicated with off blues changes that Sonny Boy wouldn't have found natural. Sonny Boy Williamson played harp with Robert Johnson and others way back. Robert is the guy who made the Crossroads famous. Made a deal with the devil so he could play guitar so well. Or so they say. He suddenly got good.

I've been to the crossroads, but I made no deals. And if I ever did, I'd never tell.

Anyway, ou can't be all things to all people. Sometimes I can't make myself sound right because it just doesn't work and nothing I can do for that. Tonight it worked OK. The tone of the harmonic blended and fit well enough, and I did the usual thing of just play air harp when in doubt.

I'd say the talent of the players is at a higher level except a few of them seemed to think I know what I'm doing. That is good and bad. Good, because it could lead to opportunities. Bad, because they ought to know I am clueless and only seem good to them because I am atypical in ways. In truth I'm kind of lame as a player in most was. Mostly I have heart and given the chance I can come close to spontaneous combustion when I can sink my teeth into a tune.

Oh well. Let them think what they want. If it gets me something good, I'm all for it. It does seem that the possibilities on the horizon pose interesting possibilities. Nothing that would make national news, but maybe some larger events, audience wise.

I'm doing what I can to lose the gut. No french fries with the hot fudge sundae. Please don't tell Michele.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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